Mission & History
The mission of Dance NOW! Miami is to promote the artistic vision of co-founders Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini. The company creates, promotes and produces contemporary dance of the highest caliber and through performance, arts education, community leadership and innovative programming, nurtures new talents, fosters artistic collaborations and makes the art of dance accessible to diverse audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
Dance NOW! has been described as “…unabashed beauty…” (Annie Hollingsworth, Artburst), “carnal and courageous… with an impressive range of movement and motion”, (Mia Leonin, Miami Art Guide), “…not only elegant and fierce, but dedicated to its community…a mature, exciting and bounds breaking company.” (Miguel Estefan, Miami Art Guide) with “...enough original vision here to make Dance Now! worth watching more than ever...” (Jordan Levin, Miami Herald)
Dance NOW! has been described as “…unabashed beauty…” (Annie Hollingsworth, Artburst), “carnal and courageous… with an impressive range of movement and motion”, (Mia Leonin, Miami Art Guide), “…not only elegant and fierce, but dedicated to its community… a mature, exciting and bounds breaking company.” (Miguel Estefan, Miami Art Guide) with “...enough original vision here to make Dance Now! worth watching more than ever....” (Jordan Levin, Miami Herald)
Dance NOW! Miami, in residence at Miami’s Little Haiti Cultural Complex, was founded in 2000 by Diego Salterini and Hannah Baumgarten through a chance encounter at PAN, a South Florida dance collective. The two quickly became dance partners and creative collaborators; their work bridges their diverse backgrounds in ballet, modern dance, and jazz, creating poetic narrative and theatrical artistry filled with fierce athleticism. Salterini hails from an illustrious career as television and theatre star in Italy, Baumgarten received her BFA from the Juilliard School and danced professionally in Utah, New York, Arizona and Florida. The directors have created 15 full-length works and over 30 shorter pieces, individually and collaboratively, and hold a strong commitment to present the work of renowned choreographers including Gerald Arpino, Carolyn Dorfman, Michael Uthoff, Tandy Beal, Josée Garant and Tauna Hunter.
Dance NOW! has received critical and popular acclaim both at the national and international level. The company’s work has been presented in 13 states and three continents by Ballet Estable del Teatro Colon, Teatro San Francisco Saybe, Honduras, Michael Uthoff Dance Theatre, Arizona, Miami International Hispanic Ballet Festival, Stockton College, New Jersey, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michigan, the Cincinnati Conservatory, the Dance Gallery Festival of New York and throughout Florida. The company founded the Ekphrasis Project, creating site-specific work in museums and galleries, and has pioneered community cultural initiatives such as the Daniel Lewis Miami Dance Sampler and Miami Open Stage promoting emerging choreographers with a theater scholarship.
Dance NOW! has also garnered prestigious awards including: Best Experimental Dance Company (Miami Sun Post) and Top Ten Dance Events of the Year (Miami Herald) and Directors Salterini and Baumgarten received the Miami ArtZine “Visionary Award” in 2010.
Hannah Baumgarten grew up between Santa Cruz, California, and Jerusalem, Israel where she began her dance training. Hannah received a B.F.A from the Juilliard School after attending the University of Utah Ballet Department and is a winner of the Florida Choreographic Fellowship; her work has been presented internationally and nationally in ten states; she has taught throughout the US and abroad. Hannah danced with Utah Ballet, Michael Uthoff DanceTheatre, Labyrinth Dance Theatre, William Adair and Dancers, Karen Peterson & Dancers, Momentum Dance Company, Giovanni Luquini & Dancers and Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. While at Juilliard, Hannah danced lead roles in the works of Master Choreographers such as Graham, Limon, Taylor, Sokolow, Harkarvy and Nikolais and had her choreography presented at several venues in Lincoln Center. She founded Dance NOW! Miami with Diego Salterini, and through Dance NOW! has toured the US from New York to Arizona, Central America and conducted residencies in and South America. Hannah Directed the Magnet High School Dance Program at Dillard Center for the Arts in Ft. Lauderdale for 10 years and currently serves as adjunct faculty at the Academy of Arts & Minds High School. Ms. Baumgarten is certified in Pilates through Core Dynamics and has served as a grant panelist for the State of Florida and Miami-Dade Departments of Cultural Af-fairs. Baumgarten has been on faculty at the Interlochen Summer Camp since 2005 and the Joffrey Ballet School NY Summer Program since 2012.
Diego Salterini, originally from Rome, Italy, moved to the U.S. in 1997 after an illustrious career as lead dancer, and assistant choreographer for many popular Italian T.V. and theatre shows. In the United States he danced extensively with companies including Michael Uthoff Dance Theater. He trained with Maestro Roberto Salaorni who he considers his mentor, as well as Flavio Bennati (Teatro La Scala), Michelle Ellis (ABT), Mamy Raomeria (Maurice Bejart), Ranko Yokoyama (Luis Falco), Max Stone, Susie Taylor, Roger Dillhaunty, and Michelle Kadison. His choreography has been presented in nine states as well as Europe, Central and South America.His teaching career, spanning almost three decades, includes national and international organizations such as NWSA, FIU, Miami City Ballet School, Atlanta Ballet School, Ballet Stadium (Sao Paulo), I.A.L.S. (Rome), to name a few. Diego served as regional jazz dance adjudicator for Young Arts until 2012 and has been on faculty at the Interlochen Summer Camp since 2005 and the Joffrey Ballet School NY Summer Program since 2012.